Manifesto

rad·i·cal

adjective /ˈradikəl/

  1. upstream interventions to remove the root of disease
  2. innovative, far-reaching, equitable change
  3. departure from the traditional

Radical Public Health Values:

  1. Health is a human right.
  2. Health cannot be captured as a typical commodity in a microeconomic sense.
  3. Public health is a common good.  Improving the lives of those most vulnerable to illness is good for everyone, even the wealthy and healthy.

Radical Public Health Beliefs:

  1. Health and illness are primarily, but not exclusively, determined by complex interactions between socio-cultural, economic, political, and institutional environments, in addition to individual and social biology and genetics.
  2. Siloed, targeted health interventions that treat the body in parts have been ineffective in reducing disease and risk factors because they do not reflect the fact that the body is a system, which itself is embedded in a wider environment.
  3. Systemic socio-economic inequities, like poverty and social exclusion, lead to illness.
  4. Improving public health globally and locally requires addressing the structural power imbalances that lead to these inequities.
  5. Improving public health globally and locally also requires that the economic system—as reflected by the price, supply and demand for goods and services—internalize negative health externalities.
  6. Medicine and traditional public health are essential to the maintenance of individual health; however, they do not address the root social determinants of health.
  7. Medicine and traditional public health have also, at times, served to reinforce the structural inequities that lead to poor health.
  8. There are real gaps in medical and traditional public health knowledge about how individual human bodies respond differently to their environment over the long term.

 Radical Public Health Objectives:

  1. To promote a deeper understanding of the pathways of illness, pathways that often begin far beyond an individual body in political, social, cultural, and economic systems.
  2. To facilitate critical and solutions-oriented discussion about the root social determinants of health and the role of public health in addressing these determinants.
  3. To draw attention to the evidence, both quantitative and qualitative, that should inform future public health practice and policy.
  4. To raise awareness of interventions that have shown success in changing the context of illness, as opposed to treating the symptoms, using participatory multi-media platforms.

Radical Public Health is a consortium of volunteer writers, researchers, students, designers, policy wonks, artists, doctors, nurses, entrepreneurs, nutritionists, teachers, lawyers, and artists interested in doing public health differently.

Join us.

2 thoughts on “Manifesto

  1. SR says:

    This sounds great, however I do wonder about your attention to illness rather than health within your Radical Public Health objectives. I would love to know more about understanding the pathways of health instead of illness… I believe utilizing the positive orientation of health within public health is very important.

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